June 6, 2023


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Perhaps we will see the first comet of 2020 with the naked eye

The last comet we were able to see from Earth with the naked eye was comet 2020 NEOWISE. If we’re lucky, we might spot another one in early 2023.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may appear in 2023

Perhaps in 2023 we will be able to spot a comet in our sky that astronomers have not yet been able to see with the naked eye. C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered by astronomers using a camera mounted on the Zwicky Transit Facility’s ground-based telescope (hence the name) in early March of this year. During January and early February, there is a chance to spot it in the dark sky, using binoculars or a telescope at first. However, when it gets close to Earth, there is a possibility that conditions will allow us to see it with the naked eye. If this happens, it will be the first such event since 2020.

NASA announced that the comet will be at its closest location to our planet on February 2, 2023, and it will be about 42.5 million kilometers from Earth. It should be visible in the Northern Hemisphere morning sky in January, looking to the northwest, and between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor by the end of the month. However, comets are often unpredictable, and we’re not sure if the ZTF won’t change its trajectory a bit because of some internal force acting on it (such forces can tear a comet apart, as happened with the ATLAS 2020 comet).

Comet 2023

I know that in many cultures a comet is a harbinger of misfortune, but after everything that’s happened since last time, let’s hope this comet brings big change, hopefully for the better. But back to the scientific method… Hopefully, Comet ZTF turns out to be bright enough that it can be seen without binoculars or a telescope, as our next chance to see it may be a little further away. Astronomers expect it to return to the center of the solar system in at least 50,000 years. It all depends on the composition of the comet, which itself is a huge cosmic snowball, falling to the right and left with pieces of ice and dust (which accumulates in our system, creating a strange halo effect around it), if the ice content is sufficient, the comet will become bright enough to be see it.

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See you fishing in 2023…

Source: theverge